Heroes Of Old Hickory

THE
MARSHALL LETTER

Picture
16 March 1946

Dear General Hobbs:

Now that I am leaving the service, I thought it might be well to give you the following information for whatever satisfaction you might derive therefrom.

I was historian of the ETO. Toward the end of last fall, for the purpose of breaking the log-jam of paper concerning division presidential unit citations, General Eisenhower instructed me to draw up a rating sheet on the divisions.

This entailed in the actual processing that we had to go over the total work of all the more experienced divisions, infantry and armor, and report back to him which divisions we considered had performed the most efficient and consistent battle services.

We so did, and we named certain infantry divisions in the first category and same with armor, and we placed others in a second category and yet others in a third. The 30th was among five divisions in the first category.

However, we picked The 30th Division No. 1 on the list of first category divisions. It was the combined judgment of the approximately 35 historical officers who had worked on the records and in the field that the 30th had merited this distinction. It was our finding that the 30th had been outstanding in three operations and that we could consistently recommend it for citation on any one of these three occasions.

It was further found that it had in no single instance performed discreditably or weakly when considered against the averages of the Theater and that in no single operation had it carried less than its share of the burden or looked bad when compared with the forces on its flanks. We were especially impressed with the fact that it had consistently achieved results without undue wastage of its men.

I do not know whether further honors will come to the 30th. I hope they do. For we had to keep looking at the balance of things always and we felt that the 30th was the outstanding infantry division in the ETO.

Respectfully yours,

Colonel S.L.A. Marshall, GSC Historian of ETO



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